We knew Aston Martin was taking three cars to the Nürbrurgring 24-Hour race this weekend, they being a V12 Vantage GT3 car, the Rapide S Hybrid Hydrogen concept and a V12 Vantage N24 that is close to road-legal. We've just discovered that the automaker is bringing a fourth, a concept to be revealed on Sunday, May 19 that we know nothing about save that it will celebrate the company's centennary.
Based on the image above it looks like it will be a modern take on the Aston Martin racer from the late fifties that contested the World Sportscar Championship and won Le Mans, but we'll just have to wait until tomorrow to find out. There's a short video below, and a press release on its other 'Ring efforts this weekend, to tease you until then.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Last October, Chris Harris got a shotgun ride in the Porsche 918 Spyder. Seven months on, the automaker is quite a bit further on the development on the hybrid supercar, and Porsche invited him to the Leipzig circuit for a test drive.
Harris starts off going through some of the technical bits on the car, including the galvanized carbon fiber instrument panel and forged carbon fiber attachment points, and before he gets in, he's a little unsure of the car. The hybrid aspect is of particular concern, Harris almost wishing that instead of a 3,608-pound coupe with a combined 887 horsepower, that Porsche would ditch the heavy batteries and make a 2,420-pound coupe with the combustion engine's 608 horsepower.
Then he drives it, and all of a sudden, "It doesn't feel like I'm driving a hybrid sports car." You can watch him come around in the video below.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Autocar took an Ariel Atom V8, BMW HP4 superbike and X-Games gold medalist Liam Doren's Citroën DS3 rallycross ride to an airstrip for a drag race. Sadly for all the drivers and for us, the clouds took to the sky and poured more and more rain on the track before the big race.
It's still a fun theoretical battle. The 550-kilogram Ariel Atom brings a 3.3-liter V8 with 475 horsepower, 268 pound-feet of torque and a 748-hp-per-ton ratio. The engine-restricted, 1,300-kg DS3 Rallycross rocks a 2.0-liter four-cylinder set for the day to about 560 hp, 600 lb-ft and - because of its variable boost - anywhere from 454-577 hp-per-ton. The HP4, naturally, does the most with the least, its 169 kg hauling a 1.0-liter engine with 163 hp, 83 lb-ft and a screaming 757 hp-per-ton.
It's a shame the weather didn't allow the entrants to show all they could do, especially the two-wheel-drive Atom. Nevertheless, it does demonstrate how critical the amount of available traction is to get the most from high-performance machinery, and there's lots of launch-controlled action and a winner crowned in the video below.Permalink | Email this | Comments
New home screen UI, paid subscriptions and enhanced playback controls the name of the day
While all eyes were on the 3+ hour monster keynote at Google I/O, Google quietly slipped out a decent looking update to their YouTube app for Google TV. Top of the order is a nice looking new user interface for the homescreen, that simplifies everything and makes it all a little more user friendly.
Official support for Google's new paid subscription channels is also included, with Google TV surely being a prime option to take advantage of the new content. Playback video controls are also improved, and it's easier to subscribe to that content creator's channel. Grab it now from the Google Play Store, and be sure to let us know what you think of it.
Save substantially on your mobile data usage when using Chrome and Youtube
As the Google I/O 2013 keynote gets moving along, Google is getting into some of the new technology it is using to save users data when using their products. First up is an update to the beta channel of Chrome for Android, which adds a "data compression" option in the settings to cut down on data usage. When turned on, it will use a compression proxy to pass pages through, converting images to the WebP format (which are 30-percent smaller than JPEG) and compressing all components of the page. The example given over a month of browsing with this Nexus 10 tablet above is a 46-percent savings in data usage. That's a big deal on today's limited data plans.
Also on the data usage front, Google is announcing that Youtube will start making the move to supporting the VP9 video format as a possible replacement for H.264. You don't have to know much about what VP9 does behind the scenes, but the end result is raw data savings with no loss in quality. Google used the example of a short HD video clip in VP9, which used about half of the bandwidth (~150MB vs. over 300MB) when compared to H.264.
Stuck online and bored? Don't have cable and want to get your motorsports fix? Refuse to go to some seedy site for bootlegs? I'll show you seven professional racing series that are made available free of charge online.
For some reason, having unlikely rappers - like minivan-driving suburbanites or British mothers - spit about their rides is still a catchy advertising hook, even in other cultures. Far more so, we're guessing, than having P. Diddy sing about his dog and his pickup truck or a Brazilian street gang doing a Celtic dirge, for example.
And that's how you get three grandmothers ridin'